Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting backed Ben Stokes to bat at No.3 for England in the upcoming fourth Test of the Ashes 2023. He said that with an all-rounder not bowling, he’ll be fresh and can bat higher up the order and Australia needs to prepare for it.
Ashes 2023: “To me, he’s got the technique to survive at the top,” Ricky Ponting on Ben Stokes
England suffered a major blow ahead of the third Test as their No.3 batter Ollie Pope was ruled out of the Ashes series with an injury. They dealt a blow in the team’s lineup as they didn’t have a proper No.3 batter in the team for the Headingley Test.
In the third game, England in the first innings asked Harry Brook to bat at No.3 but they failed terribly as struggled to get going and were back in the hut without scoring a lot. In the second innings, they tried something and send Moeen Ali to bat.
But this move too didn’t work as Moeen Ali also failed horribly and struggled to get going. With four Test of the Ashes 2023 around the corner, it’ll be a massive headache for England as to who will bat at No.3 in Old Trafford, especially with the series on the line.
But Ricky Ponting feels that skipper Ben Stokes should come up and bat at 3 because he’s got the technique to survive at the top. He said that batting at 3 will allow him to stop some of that damage with the technique that he’s got. He explained:
“To me, he’s got the technique to survive at the top and Moeen hasn’t. I thought the opportunity was there for Ben because a lot of the time with Stokes and, you know this is no knock on him whatsoever as he’s a terrific player, but a lot of the time he’s got to come in and play a Mr Fix-It role when it’s almost like a damage control sort of role where I’ve always felt that if he batted at No.3 then he could sort of stop some of that damage with the technique that he’s got.”
“I’d be thinking about if I was England and certainly something that Australia should be ready for,” says Ricky Ponting on Ben Stokes batting at No.3
Ricky Ponting further went on to say that with Ben Stokes not bowling, he’ll be fresh and can bat higher up the order and Australia needs to prepare for it. He explained:
“And the fact that he’s probably not going to bowl if they go in with the same bowling attack, he’s probably not going to bowl in the Test match, so it gives him a chance to be fresher to bat up the order. So that would be something that I’d be thinking about if I was England and certainly something that Australia should be ready for.”
Ashes 2023 currently stands at 2-1 with Australia in the lead. The next match is slated to take place in Manchester from 19th July.